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Pound May Fall as BOE Expands QE, Euro Eyes Draghi Comments

Pound May Fall as BOE Expands QE, Euro Eyes Draghi Comments

Ilya Spivak, Head Strategist, APAC

The British Pound may fall as doves at the Bank of England secure the votes to expand QE. The Euro looks to Mario Draghi’s press conference for policy guidance.

Talking Points

  • British Pound May Fall as BOE Doves Secure Votes for QE Expansion
  • Euro Looks to ECB President Draghi’s Presser for Stimulus Guidance

Monetary policy announcements from the European Central Bank and the Bank of England are in focus in European hours. Economists expect the BOE will maintain its asset-purchase program at £375 billion, but a plausible case for an increase in stimulus seems to have emerged. February’s MPC meeting minutes showed three policymakers (King, Miles and Fisher) voting to boost purchases by £25 billion. Last week, Deputy Governor Paul Tucker likewise seemed receptive, saying he was “open to doing more” and adding that “nobody on the committee thinks that QE [is not] a useful instrument anymore”. That means the doves need to secure just one more vote on the 9-member MPC to get their way. Such an outcome is likely to weigh further on the British Pound and we continue to hold short.

The ECB is likewise expected to remain on hold this time around. PMI data suggests recession deepened in the currency bloc in February, feeding some speculation about an easing of monetary policy to offset the de-facto tightening produced by3-year LTRO repayments. The central bank seems unlikely to act against a backdrop rising sovereign risk however, claiming once again that swelling risk premiums priced into bond yields undermine policy transmission. Recent political jitters in Italy have seen yields on the country’s benchmark 10-year note trend higher, hinting the monetary authority may prefer to remain on the sidelines until a concrete government in Rome emerges and funding stress unwinds. That shifts the spotlight to ECB President Mario Draghi’s press conference following the announcement. Clues hinting at imminent easing in the months ahead threaten to weigh on the Euro, while their absence would likely offer support to the single currency.

Asia Session:

GMT

CCY

EVENT

ACT

EXP

PREV

22:30

AUD

AiG Performance of Construction Index (FEB)

45.6

-

36.2

23:50

JPY

Official Reserve Assets (FEB)

$1258.8B

-

$1267.3B

0:30

AUD

Trade Balance (A$) (JAN)

-1057M

-500M

-688M (R-)

2:00

JPY

Tokyo Avg Office Vacancies (%) (FEB)

8.57

-

8.56

3:24

JPY

Bank of Japan Rate Decision

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

5:00

JPY

Leading Index (JAN P)

96.3

96.1

93.2 (R-)

5:00

JPY

Coincident Index (JAN P)

92.0

92.8

92.3 (R-)

5:30

AUD

Foreign Reserves (A$) (FEB)

A$43.7B

-

A$46.5B

Euro Session:

GMT

CCY

EVENT

EXP/ACT

PREV

IMPACT

6:45

CHF

Unemployment Rate (FEB)

3.4% (A)

3.4%

Medium

6:45

CHF

Unemployment Rate s.a. (FEB)

3.1% (A)

3.1%

Medium

8:00

CHF

Foreign Currency Reserves (FEB)

427.7B (A)

429.5B

Low

9:00

CHF

SNB’s Jordan Discusses 2012 Results

-

-

Medium

11:00

EUR

German Factory Orders s.a. (MoM) (JAN)

0.6%

0.8%

Medium

11:00

EUR

German Factory Orders n.s.a. (YoY) (JAN)

1.6%

-1.8%

Medium

12:00

GBP

Bank of England Rate Decision

0.5%

0.5%

High

12:00

GBP

BOE Asset Purchase Target

375B

375B

High

12:45

EUR

European Central Bank Rate Decision

0.75%

0.75%

High

13:30

EUR

ECB's Draghi Holds Press Conference

-

-

High

Critical Levels:

CCY

SUPPORT

RESISTANCE

EURUSD

1.2931

1.3107

GBPUSD

1.4924

1.5110

--- Written by Ilya Spivak, Currency Strategist for Dailyfx.com

To contact Ilya, e-mail ispivak@dailyfx.com. Follow Ilya on Twitter at @IlyaSpivak

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DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.

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